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Could These Grain-Sized Computers ­sing Blockchain Networks Thwart Counterfeiters?

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A tiny computer.

IBM researchers hope to deploy granular microcomputers that could be used to verify and track goods all over the world.

Credit: IBM

IBM researchers have developed granular microcomputers that could work with a blockchain electronic ledger to verify and track any product from its point of origin to merchants all over the world.

These cryptographic anchors (crypto-anchors) could be embedded in everyday objects and devices, says Arvind Krishna, head of IBM Research.

The crypto-anchors would serve as mobile sensors or transmitters with unique hashes to authenticate a product's origins and contents, ensuring it matches the electronic blockchain record. For liquids or metals that can expand with heat, the crypto-anchors can employ a special optical device and artificial intelligence algorithms to identify an object's optical structure and features.

The technology also identifies the presence of DNA sequences in minutes, IBM says.

The product-tracking technology will enable new ways of handling food safety, documenting the authenticity of manufactured components, tracking genetically modified products, identifying counterfeit objects, and protecting luxury goods, says Krishna.

From Computerworld
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